The bill extends the ability of U.S. intelligence authorities to conduct roving wiretaps, gain access to business records and survey "lone-wolf" operators, authorities that expire at the end of this week. The Leahy-Paul amendment would require inspector general audits of how these authorities are used, expand reporting requirements on their use and require more efforts by the government to justify their use.

The amendment also seeks to sunset the use of NSLs, which are a form of subpoena that the FBI can use without much in the way of judicial oversight. The amendment would discontinue their use at the end of 2013. Leahy and Paul argue that the Patriot Act expanded the use of NSLs, in part, by letting the FBI have access to information on people not subject to national security investigations.